The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Ivy Inn Gift Certificate Giveaway and Fundraiser for Those in Need

Last year, through The Charlottesville Restaurant Gift Card Program, we and many other restaurant lovers bought gift cards from Charlottesville restaurants to provide needed cash flow to restaurants struggling to endure the pandemic. Now that Charlottesville restaurants have reopened for business, we are paying it forward by giving away to a lucky reader the $200 Ivy Inn gift card we bought last March.

Over the last week, hundreds of readers entered the drawing, both by liking social media posts and by supporting Ivy Inn co-owner Vangelopoulos in his Journey of Awesomeness, a 200-mile bike ride to raise funds for clean water and food for those in need. Thank you, Charlottesville for all of the support. Still like to help?  Make your donation here.

Congratulations to the drawing’s winner: Izzy Brodsky.

Meanwhile, let’s eat!

Anti-Virus: UVa Comes to Restaurants to Vaccinate Workers

Justin Vesser, who once made a Deli-Egg Roll, was at Bodo’s this week vaccinating employees. How did this come to be?

Manager of Ambulatory Pharmacy Services at UVa with a great passion for food, Vesser recently emailed me about the idea of vaccinating restaurant employees onsite. Work schedules and other factors, he worried, might make it difficult for restaurant employees to get vaccinated, particularly with the staff shortage restaurants face. So, why not bring the mobile vaccine clinic he runs for UVa directly to restaurants, he thought. A few emails later and Voila! On-site vaccines are underway, including a visit this week to Bodo’s.

While many Bodo’s staff had already been vaccinated, not all had, as making time for a vaccination can be especially difficult for restaurant workers, said co-owner Scott Smith. “These are busy people working a lot of hours and with kids or other obligations outside work,” Smith said. “Being able to be vaccinated on the clock was a huge help to them.”

Plus, while vaccine centers can have long lines and other logistical issues, the process was flawless, Smith said. “They were super efficient and unobtrusive,” Smith said. “They made everything easy for us, and they’re coming back in a few weeks for a second round. It was a terrific opportunity.”

Any other restaurants seeking free, on-site vaccinations, feel free to email charlottesville29@gmail.com.

Five Finds on Friday: Rachel De Jong

Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Rachel De Jong of Cou Cou Rachou, set to open soon on Preston Avenue in the onetime home of Outback Lodge. Those who have tried De Jong’s pastries at The Workshop know how talented the pastry chef is who has worked at acclaimed restaurants like The Inn at Little Washington and Petit Trois. Now, her breads and pastries will be available at her own bakery right here in Charlottesville. Cou Cou Rachou plans a June opening. Meanwhile, follow along on Instagram and Facebook. De Jong’s picks:

1) Huaraches from La Sabrosita in Waynesboro. “I know, it’s outside Charlottesville proper, but it’s my partner and I’s favorite day off lunch. It’s such a fun escape and the food is always wonderful.”

2) Patois Cider from Market Street Wine. “This is a double duty answer. I went to pastry school in Paris and, on a baker/student budget, crepes and cider were without a doubt one of my most frequent meals. Patrick’s cider is the best I’ve had this side of the Atlantic and I’m very excited about what he is creating and cultivating in the area – Virginia apples need this kind of love. Market Street Wine is definitely my happy place. Siân and Thad are wonderful humans who are also doing tremendous things for their industry and community, and I am very thankful to have a place I can go where I know the recommendations and knowledge of the product will be impeccable.”

3) Thai Tea Gelato and Honey, Goat Cheese, and Fig Gelato from Splendora’s. “PK is making such fun, wonderful, interesting things and I am so happy that we can still get her gelato in town. She’s one of the many reasons I’m delighted to be back in the Charlottesville food community.”

4) Korean Cabbage Kimchi from Sussex Farm. “In my fridge always. My favorite day-off breakfast and anytime addition to brighten up a meal.”

5) Hot and Numbing Shredded Tofu Skins from Peter Chang. “Ordered this so much throughout the quarantine takeout era. One of my go-to standbys, and I would eat it every day if that were a reasonable thing to do.”

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